I don’t know about you guys, but I love a bit of adventure – it fills up my soul and makes my heart absolutely sing. I’m often found dreaming up the next place I want to visit or reading articles and books on exotic overseas locations. Adventure for me can be anything from hiking on the world’s rooftop in the Himalayas of Nepal, to simply getting out with friends on the weekend and exploring somewhere new. I should add that whilst I’m no mountain climber and the idea of scaling Everest pushes even me over the edge, I can attest that spending some time in the Annapurna region of Nepal truly changed my life a few years back. These days, routine seems to be my friend, but I’m planning on changing that a little….

Last weekend, for a friend’s birthday, three of us hired a house about an hour out of Melbourne. We had such a great time exploring the area (even though we’d all been there before). We all love to hike, so we got out and explored Maroondah Dam, followed by a good walk through town checking out the shops.  The following day, on the way home, we did a little winery crawl, checking out 4 different wineries all stopping to sample along the way. We even managed to fit in the most amazing lunch I have eaten in a LOOOOOONG time! It was a weekend of laughs, silly dancing, good food and even better company.  We weren’t scaling mountains, but we were out exploring all the same and we all agreed that it was what we needed.  A chance to get away from it all, change up our routine and do something different.

The struggle of routine….

Since I now work from home, I find that I’ve become very entrenched in routine, which is of course ironic, since I thought it was the monotony of the workday routine that I used to dislike back in my corporate days.  Turns out after over 15 years in the corporate world, that that’s just the way I’m now wired (much to my chagrin)!  I find I’m much happier when I have routine and know what I need to accomplish each day – hello hours of Netflix, comfy pants and a well worn imprint on the couch otherwise – ooh yes, its so very easy to slip into THAT sort of daily routine! For a while now I’ve been feeling a little stuck – even when it comes to blogging.  I seem to have lots of good ideas for posts, but those ideas escape me when I actually sit down to write them out. I love nothing more than connecting with you guys via the blog, but for a while now it’s been a bit of a struggle. 

The issue I have with routine, though, is that once I get into my comfort zone (which for me doesn’t take very long….), then all I want to do is firmly stay there. It doesn’t help that it’s winter here at the moment and the choice between staying inside where its nice and cozy and going out there in the wind is a no brainer. The fact remains that even though I’m pursuing my dreams and creating a life that is mine, I still need to push myself out of my comfort zone each and every day.  The main reason I chose this life was to have the chance to have new experiences each and every day – not to sit at home and wonder why I’m feeling stuck! People tell me all the time that I’m brave and so lucky to have had all the experiences I’ve had so far in my life.  Its less about luck and much more about making things happen. I’ve come to the conclusion that what I really need is to get out of my comfort zone and have more experiences again. I’m definitely someone who thrives on experiences and I would always and forever choose an experience over a material item, such as a new pair of boots or the latest fashion accessory. So, in my effort to be a good role model for you guys, I’m going to set myself a challenge – for the next week I’m going to do something out of my comfort zone each and every day and I invite you guys to play along. It doesn’t need to be anything huge – let’s not get too crazy here – it’s just about thinking of the things that you could do differently each day.

Ideas for ways to shake up your corporate working day:

Here’s some ideas to help you guys in the corporate world to get you started:

1. Strike up a conversation with the barista who makes your coffee every morning – you never know, they could be really interesting and a fun 5min conversation could make both your day and theirs.

2. Instead of emailing that colleague just down the hall, stand up and go and talk to them – you never know where the conversation will lead and how much more you’ll get out of it.

3. Decide to take a lunch break and actually leave the office – I don’t care how ‘busy’ you think you are (read my post here) – block out the time in your calendar so that no-one can book a meeting with you. Take an exercise class, simply walk around the block, do something to get your blood pumping. We’ve all read that sitting is the new smoking – be kind to yourself and get moving!

 Ideas to ways to shake up your working from home day:

For those of you, like me, who work from home, here’s some ideas to get you thinking:

1. Find a co-working office space – they exist in most major cities (& even regional towns, where I live). Even if the people have nothing in common with your business, just getting out and interacting with others could be just enough to spark your creativity again – who knows who you’ll meet.

2. Give yourself a break and go to an exercise class in the middle of the day – I know, I know, it sounds so decadent when you’ve got so many things to do, but try it – you’ll be amazed how good you feel and how much more you get done afterwards. As an added bonus, you may just encounter another amazing boss lady who you’ll connect with.

3. Join a networking meet-up group – go to www.meetup.com to search for groups in your local area and commit to going to at least one event a month.

Today is a relatively grey day – definitely not a day to be inspired to get outside and do something, but that is exactly what I’m going to do once this post is done. I’m going to head out for a walk – there’s a great set of stairs not to far away that I plan to jog up a couple of times. My challenge to myself today is to get along to my local Toastmasters event. I’ve been *thinking* about it for a little while now (i.e. not actually doing anything about the idea) but I just checked and there is a meeting on tonight. The thought of standing up in front of a room of people and giving a speech makes my palms sweat just thinking about it, but I know that it’s something that will help propel me forward, so it has to be done!

Follow along on social media this week (links at the bottom of this page) to see what else I’m planning that involves me stepping firmly out of my comfort zone. Here’s to a new week of breaking old patterns, being more social, getting more exercise in and feeling less stuck! Goodbye comfort zone, you were nice whilst you lasted, but its time to step out again!

Did you like this post? Could you relate to that feeling of being stuck in a rut? If so, I’d be forever grateful if you commented below to let me know what you plan to do this week to step out of your comfort zone or simply share this post with your friends – perhaps you know someone who needs a little push.

Big love as always,

Shelley xx